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Good News in History, January 9

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Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter and activist, Joan Baez who turns 80 years-old today. Each of her first three contemporary albums—Joan Baez (1960), Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert from 1962—achieved gold record status and stayed on the album charts for years.

She saw Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking about civil rights and nonviolence, and the two became friends and walked arm-in-arm in protest. Her performance of We Shall Overcome at the 1963 March on Washington forever linked her to that Pete Seeger anthem. Fluent in Spanish, her 1975 hit, Diamonds & Rust, was written about her former lover, Bob Dylan.

Baez was instrumental in founding the USA branch of Amnesty International in the 1970s, and later founded her own human-rights group, Humanitas International, to target oppression wherever it occurs.

Since retiring from touring in 2019, the musician has turned to painting and you can join a live streaming debut of her new solo art exhibit of portraits featuring “people making the world a better place.” In her Woodside, California backyard she has a tree house in which she spends time meditating, writing, and being close to nature. WATCH her kitchen performance of Forever Young for all the Heroes of the 2020 pandemic… (1941)

We hope you stay forever young, too, Joan Baez!

Photo credits: (above) Marina Chavez, Diamond and Rust Productions; (featured image) Jim Gilbert, CC license

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Daguerreotype photography was unveiled by the French Academy of Sciences (1839)
  • The United Nations headquarters officially opened in New York City (1951)
  • Apple Computer introduced iTunes, the digital music software, at the MacWorld Expo (2001)
  • The Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan marked the end of a 21-year civil war that killed or displaced millions of people. (2005) Related: Famous Drummers Beat for Peace in Sudan
  • The iPhone was unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs (2007)

And, on this day in 1768, on a stage in London, the first ever modern-day circus was produced. Philip Astley put on the show to feature his genius for trick riding—and the equestrian master rode in a circle that day, rather than in a straight line as his rivals did.

His dreams came true, to open a riding school by day, and, afterward conduct shows of acrobatic riding skill, called Astley’s Amphitheatre. He added music, prancing dogs, and eventually hired acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers and a clown to fill in the pauses between horse acts. He performed his stunts in a ring 42-feet in diameter, which is the size used by circuses ever since. This first performance took place in an open field at what is now the Waterloo area of London, behind the present site of St John’s Church. When he expanded, he moved to fenced premises just south of Westminster Bridge.

Happy 53rd Birthday to singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and winemaker Dave Matthews. Born in Johannesburg, he formed the Dave Matthews Band in Charlottesville, Virginia, a jam band that owns the distinction of selling more tickets in the decade during 2000-2010—and earning more money—than any other act in North America.

The band’s 2012 album, Away from the World, made them the only group to have six consecutive studio albums debut at number one on the Billboard charts. In 1999, Matthews purchased ten acres of land in Virginia and planted grapes on the property. He now produces wines under the names Blenheim Vineyards and Dreaming Tree Wines, with bottle labels he drew himself. (1967)

CHECK OUT: Fans Late for a Concert Help a Stranded Cyclist Dave Matthews, Star of the Show

2009 Photo by Redxonard, CC license on Wikimedia

Also, Happy Birthday to the actor J. K. Simmons, who turns 66 today. Named Jonathan when he was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, he played a doctor on TV’s Law & Order, and a police chief in The Closer, but his most acclaimed role was on the big screen in 2014 portraying a music teacher in Whiplash.

His powerful performance as the strict and belittling instructor earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics’ Choice Award and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. WATCH the riveting 2:00 trailer and check out more of his work…. (1955)

 

Also, Happy 77th Birthday to Jimmy Page, the brilliant guitarist, songwriter and producer whose groundbreaking band Led Zeppelin released its first album 50 years ago this week. Watch a video where he remembers the music that stirred him in the beginning… (1944)

2013 photo by Avda, CC license

From the great guitar player documentary It Might Get Loud, Jimmy plays the 1958 record ‘Rumble’ by Link Wray, which had a major influence on his blues music of the 60s and 70s, particularly in Led Zeppelin’s single, Whole Lotta Love.

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Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) |Dancer|Software Developer|Multitalented|??|Entrepreneur|Researcher ?| Founder, CEO and Publisher MUHABARISHAJI NEWS

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New Electric Car Batteries Can Fully-Charge in 5 Minutes, Like Filling Your Car With Gas, If Better Chargers Are in Place

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One of the major barriers to entry of electric vehicles may be set to disappear, as an Israeli startup is now mass-producing car batteries that can deliver 100 miles of charge in just five minutes.

StoreDot

The innovative company, StoreDot, which has delivered rapid-charge versions of lithium-ion batteries for phones and scooters, has now gorged itself on millions in investment dollars and cranked 1,000 car batteries out of a Chinese assembly line.

The breakthrough replaces the graphite anode which causes problems when trying to force energy into the battery. The lithium ions become congested through this method, before phase-shifting into metal and then shorting the battery.

StoreDot replaces the graphite with silicon, which not only circumnavigates this problem but reduces costs since silicon is far cheaper. The current crop of 1,000 batteries uses germanium, which is also waterproof, and the silicon ones are expected later in the year.

Tesla and its founder Elon Musk liked the sound of this idea, and so set up a research and development center in Israel to take advantage of the innovations coming out of StoreDot, which was named by Bloomberg as the New Energy Finance Pioneers winner for 2020.

After constant innovation drove down the price of the electric car in the 2010s, the final hurdle to widespread adoption that remains is the charging speed and charging points.

British Petroleum (BP) invested $20 million into the StoreDot batteries, even though it maintains 18,200 gas stations in the UK. According to StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf, “they [BP] understand that 10 years from now, all these stations will be obsolete if they don’t repurpose them for charging—batteries are the new oil.”

Currently, battery charging stations can’t deliver the electricity needed to charge a StoreDot battery fully in five minutes, meaning that the ball is in the courts of the power stations to upgrade their tech. However, five minutes will still fill one with 100 miles, which for most users is plenty.

Market forces create the best innovations

As both the social and fiscal costs of manufacturing gasoline and diesel cars increased, automotive giants all began throwing out electric vehicles (EVs) to assuage stockholder fears and political edicts.

RELATED: These Giant Oil Companies Are Providing EV Chargers Next to Their Gas Pumps

As companies have battled back and forth, battery technology began following suit, with lowered charge times, increased ranges, and—through learning from the case of the Fisker Karma—trying to be less flammable.

StoreDot is one of several battery innovators that are attracting big money for their new products.

MORE: With EV Battery Prices Dropping 87% in a Decade, Tesla is Now Making a Car That Will Cost $25,000

Another one is QuantumScape, which doesn’t produce lithium-ion batteries, but solid-state ones. Now worth $3.3 billion, QuantumScape replaces liquid lithium with solid ceramic material, providing vastly increased energy density, lower costs, and far fewer fire hazards.

However, QuantumScape’s battery goes from 0% charge to 80% in 15 minutes, which while being fast, isn’t five minutes, and so there lies a problem for their stockholders.

CHECK OUT: Old Electric Vehicle Batteries Can Be Recycled into New Sources of Energy—Even Used to Power 7-11 Stores

As these two producers—one backed by Bill Gates and Volkswagen, the other by Tesla and BP—battle for market share, the innovations created in their competition will likely produce the “Chevrolet small-block V8” or Porsche’s “Boxer flat-six,” i.e. the battery that will define the first golden age of EVs.

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J-Lo, Gaga, Garth Brooks, and Katy Perry Sing American Favorites at Inaugural Events — Watch

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Bon Jovi, the Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Demi Levato, Tim McGraw, and so many more American favourites tuned in from across the country to perform at the Tom Hanks-hosted Inauguration Concert last night.

From John Legend to Katy Perry, there were also global superstars there in person to welcome the First Family to their new home. We’ve rounded up those videos—from the Lincoln Memorial and earlier in the day at Capitol Hill—for you to enjoy.

1. Lady Gaga kicked things off by singing national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” at President Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.

2. Accompanied by the Marine Band, J-Lo performed a medley including “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful.”

3. Garth Brooks brought a little Country to the table with his rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

4. Playing solo on the acoustic guitar, Bruce Springsteen sang “Land of Hope and Dreams” at the Lincoln Memorial.

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life… ” John Legend sang to the crowd in his soaring rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”

As fireworks lit up the D.C. sky, Katy Perry was there to cap off the night with, of course, “Fireworks.”


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